There are times when I write these blog entries that I wonder about the thought process behind the crimes reported. Although, looking back, some one could have said the same about me. So, I hope I never lose my sense of compassion, as I report on business ethics issues and white collar crimes.
According to a news release from the US Department of Justice – Roger Lexin Mai, age 33, was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $57,481 for presenting false claims to the Internal Revenue Service.
Mai, 33, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on November 15, 2007 to 17 counts of filing false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287. In pleading guilty, Mr. Mai admitted that from about January through April 2003, he filed 17 false tax returns with the IRS. He purchased names and social security numbers through the internet site, Craigslist for $20.00 per identity. He created false Wage and Tax Statements, Forms W-2, using the identities he purchased. He then created false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, which he filed electronically, claiming tax refunds of $107,049. The individuals to whom the identities belong did not authorize the sale or use of their identities.
Mr. Mai further admitted that in addition to the 17 false returns, to which he pleaded guilty, he electronically filed an additional 125 false Forms 1040 and Forms W-2, claiming refunds totaling $734,448.
As a white collar crime speaker, let me say from experience, you can’t fool the IRS. It isn’t worth it. You might think you can pull of the perfect crime, but most of the time, if not all of the time, the laws of the universe are in play. You will reap what you sow.
Just like many others, not only will Mai spend time in federal prison (time he won’t like), but he’ll have to pay his ill gotten gains back.
But like I say often, Every Choice Has A Consequence!